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LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research , LAWS105 Contract Law

Teaching organisation

4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This level four unit contributes to the development of:

  • advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in the field of Administrative Law
  • advanced, cognitive, technical and communication skills and the ability to apply these to complex Administrative law problems
  • advanced research and writing skills
This unit explains the rationale for consumer protection as well as the content and operation of the Australian Consumer Law (other than Part 2-1 and Part 3-1, Division 1) and certain related areas. Its focus is on the law relating to the protection of consumers and others from being exploited by persons in a dominant position (duress, undue influence, unfair contract terms and unconscionable conduct) unfair business practices, statutory protection in consumer transactions, product safety and consumer rights and remedies.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Outline the theory and economics considerations relating to consumer protection (GA1, GA2) 

LO2 - Describe and critically evaluate the approach taken to consumer protection in Australia (GA4, GA6, GA9) 

LO3 - Describe and critically evaluate the provisions of the ACL dealing with abuse of a dominant position, unfair business practices, product safety, consumer guarantees, manufacturers' liability (GA4, GA6, GA9) 

LO4 - Describe and critically evaluate the criminal provisions of the ACL and the rights and remedies of consumers (GA4, GA6, GA9) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:  


  1. Why the need for consumer protection? 
  2. The limitations of the common law in relation to consumer protection 
  3. Misleading and Deceptive Conduct 
  4. Statutory Unconscionability. 
  5. Unfair Contract Terms 
  6. Consumer guarantees 
  7. Product safety  
  8. Consumer rights and remedies 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode:Lectures, tutorials, electronic consultation, library tasks and presentations or Online lectures and activities.  


Duration:3 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent.  Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit. 


This level four elective unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law using more advanced research skills.  


Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to practice advanced research skills. 


The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly or online. We have taken a blended learning approach to provide accessibility and flexibility to our students and a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising LEO.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy is designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law, and to develop research capacity.  


The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed.  


The number and weighting of the assessments has been approved in accordance with 5.2 of the ACU Assessment Policy. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Research essay: Students to demonstrate their ability to research assigned topic and critically evaluate legal systems and laws 


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA9 

Final Assignment: The Final Assignment requires students to answer hypothetical problems and short answer questions that will be based on the material presented in lectures and tutorials. 


LO3, LO4 

GA4, GA6 

Representative texts and references

 Bruce, Alex, Consumer Protection in Australia (LexisNexis, 2010)  


Corones, Stephen, The Australian Consumer Law (Lawbook Co, 2011) 


Corones, Stephen and Philip Clarke, The Australian Consumer Law: Commentary and Materials (Thomson Reuters, 4th ed, 2011) 


Paterson, Jennie, Unfair Contract Terms in Australia (Thomson Reuters, 2011) 


Pearson, Gail, Simon Fisher, Elisabeth Peden and GJ Tolhurst, Commercial Law: Commentary and Materials (Thomson Reuters, 3rd ed, 2010) 


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